From tomato fights to music in the streets, here are ten summer festivals in Europe you don't want to miss!
Hemingway's favorite festival.
Spain's famous running of the bulls takes place during an eight-day festival in July in the city of Pamplona. People line the streets to watch hundreds of brave souls run in front of six bulls through the city's narrow streets. The festival became known worldwide with Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."
The largest arts festival in the world!
Edinburgh is festival nirvana, and none is more famous than The Fringe, a nearly monthlong cultural festival with more than 50,000 performances from 48 countries. Every August, visitors descend upon Scotland's capital for cutting-edge theater, music, art and more. The festival coincides with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
The world's longest beer garden!
Held along Karl-Marx-Allee boulevard, this festival of beer brings together 340 breweries from 87 countries every August in Germany's capital. Each year a different country, special region or theme is highlighted; for 2017 the motto is "500 years of German purity law." The festival is known for having the Guinness World Record for the world's longest beer garden.
Come for the music, stay for the scenery.
The city of Montreux on the edge of Lake Geneva holds a world famous music festival every July. Originally started in 1967 as a pure jazz festival, today its performances range from every music style from blues to pop. In addition to the idyllic lakeside location, the festival has attracted big names like Prince, David Bowie and Miles Davis.
Find your Mr. Darcy!
For ten days in September, thousands of "Janeites" gather in the Roman city of Bath to celebrate Jane Austen. Often dressed in the traditional style of the Regency era, attendees can choose from over 70 events including a costumed ball. 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Austen's death, so the festival plans to roll out its largest celebration yet.
A highlight on Ireland's Wild Atlantic West.
This festival in Ireland's culture-packed coastal hub is a two-week extravaganza filled with eclectic work from around the world. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017, GIAF will hold over 200 events in opera, theater, music, and visual arts. Don't miss Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys who will perform the seminal album "Pet Sounds" for the last time in full.
Fellini, Hitchcock, Kubrick.
Every year between June and September, the island in the middle of the Tiber River in Rome hosts an outdoor film festival known as Isola del Cinema. In recent years, the festival has presented Hitchcock and Kubrick retrospectives. In addition to films, visitors can enjoy bars, cafes and local vendors selling knicknacks on the island.
A messy good time!
You can participate in the largest food fight in the world at La Tomatina in Buñol. What began as a political protest in 1945 has blossomed into a legendary festival where thousands of pounds of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in good fun. The festival was banned under Francisco Franco for having no religious significance, but returned in the 1970s and continues to this day.
Pure Instagram gold.
Every year in July, hundreds of colorful umbrellas float above the streets in Agueda as part of the AgitAgueda Art Festival. The umbrella tradition, started in 2012, has become a signature photo op and a shady, colorful respite from the hot Portugal summer.
Celebrations in the street all across the world!
Started as a humble burst of musical celebration in Paris in 1982, this festival has become a wildly popular global event drawing music lovers in 540 cities worldwide, including 300 European cities. Free gigs, encompassing all music genres, take place as part of this festival for the summer solstice on June 21. The festivities in Paris are particularly special, with concerts taking place in theaters, bars, on street corners, in parks and even on balconies